From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
A Pokémon poacher (Japanese: ポケモンハンター Pokémon hunter) is someone who captures wild Pokémon, sometimes many of the same species at a time, to sell for profit. These people are sometimes referred to as Pokémon hunters, and are known for having exceptionally powerful Pokémon.
In the anime
Poachers have appeared in a number of episodes as well as movies. Team Rocket was the first major organization to steal Pokémon for profit. The first major hunter was also a member of the said team: the Iron-Masked Marauder, the main villain of Celebi: Voice of the Forest. Using a unique Poké Ball known as the Dark Ball, he attempted to capture Celebi. Another poacher also appeared briefly at the beginning of the film.
A group of poachers, the Pokémon Poacher Brothers, appeared in a memory of Ash's Larvitar in Address Unown. They had stolen the Pokémon when it was still in its Egg and had also severely wounded its mother. They appeared in person in Mother of all Battles.
J was the first recurring poacher. She traveled the Sinnoh region with her henchmen, stealing Pokémon on behalf of her clients, who often gave large sums of money in exchange. She first appeared in Mutiny in the Bounty, and was featured again in Ill-Will Hunting, Pokémon Ranger and the Kidnapped Riolu! Parts One and Two, Pillars of Friendship, Unlocking the Red Chain of Events and The Needs of Three. Like the Iron-Masked Marauder, she often used sinister gadgets to achieve her goals.
Other poachers have also played minor roles with some appearing as a character of the day. These include:
- Rico, a poacher from the Hoenn region who appeared in A Poached Ego! attempted to steal a group of wild Ekans and Koffing, but was later arrested by Officer Jenny.
- Another Pokémon poacher appeared in The Drifting Snorunt! where he attempted to steal a wild Snorunt.
- The Proprietor is a recurring character who used to be a poacher when Volkner and Flint were young. He appeared in Flint Sparks the Fire! and The Fleeing Tower of Sunyshore!.
- Rizzo, a Pokémon hunter from Unova appeared in Guarding the Guardian of the Mountain! where he was hunting down a Volcarona.
- Two Poachers appeared in a flashback in The Island of Illusions!.
- Dirk, a Pokémon hunter hired to recapture Mewtwo, appeared in Mewtwo — Prologue to Awakening.
- Dolan, a Pokémon poacher from Kalos, appeared in To Catch a Pokémon Smuggler! where he was hunting wild Scatterbug and Spewpa. Unlike the others, he was referred to as a "Pokémon Merchant," due to his capturing of the Scatterbug and Spewpa to sell on the Internet instead of being hired to capture a specific Pokémon by a client.
- Another Pokémon hunter appeared in A Fork in the Road! A Parting in the Ways!, attempting to capture any Pokémon he could get his hands on for money.
Pokémon hunters tend to be far more dangerous than other villains in the series as they typically have no qualms about having their Pokémon attack humans directly or using guns (in the case of the Pokémon Poacher Brothers or Rico, who used an FN P90 model gun) to attack their prey. This is most often shown by J, who in Pokémon Ranger and the Kidnapped Riolu! (Part 2) seemed to be trying to kill Ash repeatedly, and Rico who also had his Pokémon attack Jessie and James.
In the manga
In the movie adaptations
A Pokémon poacher appeared in Celebi: a Timeless Encounter.
In the Pokémon Ruby-Sapphire manga
A hunter in Pokémon Ruby-Sapphire
Red and his Pokémon encountered a hunter in A Visitor From Outer Space?!.
In other languages